Is your pup hell-bent on ripping its teeth into everything they lay their eyes on? We might know why.
Why does my dog seem to hate my stuff?
When you finally get home after a long day of work only to see your favourite couch in tatters thanks to your furry best friend, take a deep breath. Here’s what you need to understand before you lose your patience; your lovable pooch might be going through some issues that need your attention and care.
Destructive behaviour in dogs is a common dilemma for pet owners. Whether it be shoes, cushions or pieces of paper that unfortunately had Very Important Things written down on them, your slobbery chewing monster most likely has all bases covered. We don’t blame you for thinking that they might even be doing it out of pure spite.
However, you’ll be relieved to know that this isn’t really the case. Confused about what’s causing your pup to tear into household items that you’d rather have intact? We’ve narrowed it down to the top four reasons why your dog is ripping everything. Let’s dive right into it.
1. Your dog is bored
If you haven’t noticed already, dogs have a LOT of energy. Do you leave your furry friend alone for extended periods of time? If that is the case, then it is possible that they will find something to entertain themselves with during that time. It is also possible that this something ends up being your most expensive pair of shoes.
Boredom in dogs is extremely common, especially when they are young. They are active, energetic creatures by nature and need to be either running around, chasing something or playing with their ever-tolerant owners. If your pup finds itself without your company for a considerable amount of time, then it needs to channel all that energy elsewhere.
Your best bet is to provide them with designated chewing toys. Make sure your dog has enough trinkets to destroy to its heart’s content (so that they hopefully leave your stuff alone). There should be some variety to the toys; when your already bored dog gets bored of the one or two toys they’re given to chew, they’ll definitely start sniffing around for replacements. Remember also to keep your valuables out of reach as a safety precaution–the shoes go in a closet and the important papers stay in a filing cabinet inaccessible to furry paws.
2. Your dog is anxious or stressed
An anxious pup is often a destructive one. Dogs are very sensitive to change. If there has been a recent relocation, a new pet or any other kind of recent change in your dog’s usual lifestyle, it is likely causing some unease. This can lead to them ripping things apart to relieve their anxiety.
Piecing together what’s causing them distress is the first step to making a difference. For example, if your dog is kenneled or tied up, it might be under some amount of stress. There are quite a few factors that can trigger anxiety in your pet, it’s up to you to figure out what’s causing them to act out. Separation anxiety is also common–if your furry friend really misses hanging out with you, they might channel that into ripping at your doors or furniture. They’re not called man’s best friend for nothing!
Designated chew toys would be helpful in this case too. Give your pet all the love and attention it needs, and let them know that when you leave for work or elsewhere–you’re coming back to them. Leaving around old clothes that have your scent on them is also known to help.
Dogs also need playtime to relieve their pent-up energy; take care to spend some time playing catch, or take them out for a walk. A stressed out dog needs help; do your best to figure out what’s bothering them and try to make them feel better.
3. Your dog is hungry
If your dog is a foodie who doesn’t think it’s getting nearly the amount of carbs it deserves (and let’s face it, that’s what 99% of dogs are like), there’s a chance your leather couch will get the Sharp Teeth Treatment.
Having a scheduled and regular meal time is always a good idea. Once your fur baby gets used to following a routine and is aware that they’ll be adequately fed at a certain time, they might change their mind about destroying half of your house to show you that they’ve got the munchies.
A dog on a diet is particularly susceptible to this kind of behaviour. Low-calorie edible chew toys are a helpful distraction. Mandatory playtime sessions with plenty of fun and exercise before mealtime is also a solution. This will keep their minds away from food and potential destruction–not to mention, a tail-wagging, playful dog is always a heart-warming sight.
4. Your dog is teething
If your fur baby is still verifiably a baby–that is, if they are around 6 months or younger, chewing and ripping things apart is completely normal. Don’t berate a pup if it’s ripping things apart at this stage. It should be noted that much like humans, puppies go through a baby-teeth phase (deciduous teeth that are eventually replaced by permanent teeth).
By around 6 months of age, all of their permanent teeth would have erupted. Dental hygiene after your dog’s permanent teeth have come in is also important! Indeed, losing teeth and having them erupt is a painful process. This leaves them with irritated gums that need something to be occupied with. Lots of toys is, again, a good solution.
Do some research into which toys are the safest for puppies. Importantly, supervise your puppy’s toy chewing habits. Even the safest of toys can be a choking hazard at the paws of your enthusiastic little chewing monster, so keep an eye on them when they’re young.
We hope this article provided some insight into why your dog is ripping everything. Go easy on your pup, they’re most likely going through some issues that need your patience and understanding. That being said, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’ve tried everything and your patience is wearing thin.